There are steps to follow when applying for a buyer grant. First, find a homebuyer grant that fits you. Then, check the requirements of that grant program. Finally, find an approved lender and fill out all the application forms correctly. The HUD website is a great resource for buying a home, whether it’s your first or your tenth. (For specific HUD programs, you can go to portal.hud.gov and access their Resources section or search for a specific kind of program with the Search bar.) For example: in Ohio, if you are in the market for your first home and need help with down payment and closing costs, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) can help. OHFA offers 30-year fixed-rate conventional and FHA, VA, USDA-RD government loans designed especially for homebuyers with low-to-moderate incomes, with generous income and purchase price limits. Ohio’s “Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance” program allows homebuyers to choose either 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price as a down payment. Assistance can be applied toward your down payment, closing costs, or other pre-closing expenses. Down payment assistance is only forgiven after seven years, though, so if you sell or refinance your home within that period you will have to repay all the assistance provided. Qualifications for the Ohio “Your Choice” program include: • You have not owned or had an ownership interest in your primary residence in the last three years. • You meet income and purchase price limits. • You meet the credit score requirements. Please note that credit score requirements may be higher for different loan types. The minimum credit score for borrowers using OHFA Homebuyer Programs is 640 for a Conventional, USDA, or VA loan and 660 for an FHA loan.
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